Category Archives: Beauty and God

A Hidden Bit of Divinity

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Have you ever had the experience of reading through a passage of Scripture, and coming to a verse you’ve read many times, but this time God shows you something in the verse that makes you feel like you’d never seen the verse before? I had that experience recently when I read John 17:5,

And now, Father, glorify Me at Your side with the glory I had with You before the world was created. ~ John 17:5, NET.

I like the way the New Living Translation puts it,

Now, Father, bring me into the glory we shared before the world began. ~ John 17:5, NLT.

There are a number of places, especially in the Gospel of John, where Jesus declares Himself to be the Son of God, and/or to be equal with God, and John 17:5 is a clear statement of Jesus’ divinity. I’d never seen it before, but there it is. And now, everytime I read it, I get excited, because I understand what He’s saying there. John 17 is what many people call Jesus’ High Priestly Prayer to the Father before He went to the Cross. While most people think of Matthew 6:9-13 and Luke 11:2-4 as being the Lord’s Prayer,

Therefore, you should pray like this: our Father in heaven, Your name be honored as Holy. Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And do not bring us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. ~ Matthew 6:9-13, CSB.

I think of John 17 as being the Lord’s Prayer more than Matthew 6:9-13 and Luke 11:2-4. The passages in Matthew and Luke are important because they’re where Jesus gave us a roadmap on how to pray to the Father. But to me John 17 is more literally the Lord’s Prayer because that’s where Jesus spoke directly to God, and He spent the whole chapter doing so.

There is so much rich meat in this chapter!

I won’t talk about all of it here because there’s so much, but there is one little tidbit I want to mention.

In the second verse Jesus says that God gave Him authority over all flesh,

When Jesus had spoken these words, He lifted up His eyes to heaven, and said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify Your Son that the Son may glorify You, since You have given Him authority over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom You have given Him.” ~ John 17:1-2, ESV.

In context, the authority over all flesh is referring to the fact that God gave Jesus the authority to give eternal life to everyone that God had given to Him. But I think it could also be said that the authority referenced here could be authority over other things.

For instance, when I read that God had given Jesus authority over all flesh, the very first thing that popped into my mind was that it was no wonder healing came so easily to Him. God gave Him authority over all flesh, so all He had to do was exercise that authority for healing to happen.

I think we can have little hidden bits of divinity as we go about our everyday lives. For me these bits of divinity are unexpected encounters with God ~ moments where I happen on a beautiful bit of scenery that takes my breath away, or when I read a particularly lovely poem or portion of prose, or when I hear an especially joy-filled piece of music. I call these times bits of divinity because they’re unanticipated, and because they make me think of God when they happen. It’s like God gives me a little gift out of the blue, a little bit of beauty that just pops up out of seemingly nowhere. And the only response I can give Him in return is to praise Him.

Another hidden bit of divinity might be when we help someone in need,

Don’t forget to show hospitality to strangers, for some who have done this have entertained angels without realizing it! ~ Hebrews 13:2, NLT.

How cool it would be to know that you actually helped an angel when you thought you were helping a human being.

That would be pleasing to God, and there’s nothing better than that!

The Magic and Beauty of Words

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From the very beginning of time words have been used to transact business and communicate our thoughts to others. We even use words when we talk to ourselves ~ at least I do, anyway. And God used words when He spoke the universe into existence. For example,

And God said, “Let there be light…” ~ Genesis 1:3, KJV.

And God said, “Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit…”  ~ Genesis 1:11, KJV.

And God said, “Let us make man in our image…” ~ Genesis 1:26, KJV.

Plus God gave us His Word, The Bible, which is His love letter to us, and the King James Version is comprised of 783,137 words.

All of this is to say that words are powerful, and can be used for good or, conversely, for evil, to hurt and (emotionally) maim,

People can tame all kinds of animals, birds, reptiles, and fish, but no one can tame the tongue. It is restless and evil, full of deadly poison. Sometimes it praises our Lord and Father, and sometimes it curses those who have been made in the image of God. And so blessing and cursing come pouring out of the same mouth. Surely, my brothers and sisters, this is not right! ~ James 3:7-10, NLT.

We use words to describe the beauty of a sunset, and out of the same mouth, we bully our neighbor, who we perceive as being less than we are.

I would venture to say that any human being who was created in the image of God, (and that’s every single person on the face of the earth), regardless of what they look like to us, cannot be ugly, and instead of bullying that person, and saying ugly things to them, we need to speak with love to them, and be a friend to them, and if they are bullying others, then we need to pray for them.

And lest we forget, Jesus Christ the Messiah is the ultimate Word,

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made...And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. ~ John 1:1-3, 14 NKJV.

Jesus is The Word, and He is beauty personified. Witness the beauty inherent in this passage from Hebrews,

Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days He has spoken to us by His Son, whom He appointed the heir of all things, through whom also He created the world. He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of His nature, and He upholds the universe by the word of His power. After making purification for sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become as much superior to angels as the name He has inherited is more excellent than theirs. ~ Hebrews 1:1-4, ESV.

I love this passage of Scripture, because it talks of the supremacy of Christ, and it does so with such beauty and power that I can see what it’s describing in my mind. And where it says in verse 3 that Jesus, “upholds the universe by the word of His power…,” I like to switch it around so it says, “and the power of His word.” I don’t think it’s wrong to do that, because the words of Christ are powerful. His words created the whole universe, as well as creating you and me, and He spoke it into existence out of nothing, as it says in Romans 4,

That is what the Scriptures mean when God told him, “I have made you the father of many nations.” This happened because Abraham believed in the God who brings the dead back to life and who creates new things out of nothing. ~ Romans 4:17, NLT.

So you see, words are amazing little things. They can be used to hurt or to heal, to describe beauty or to chronicle ugliness, to incite violence or to bring peace, to speak love or express hate. It’s up to us which kind of words we choose to use: loving or hateful, peaceful or violent, beautiful or ugly, hurtful or healing.

I’d like to share the most beautiful words on love ever written, taken from God’s Word,

Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. ~ 1 Corinthians 13:4-7, NLT.

The cool thing about this passage is that you can ruminate on it, substituting your name for the word “love”, and you will find yourself changing to become more loving as you do that. I’ve done it and it works. God’s Word is alive,

For the Word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires. ~ Hebrews 4:12, NKJV.

In closing I’d like to share my favorite thing about words in general, and about the Bible in particular, because, in case you haven’t figured it out, the Bible is my favorite Book, my most treasured Set of Words, if you will, and it’s a passage of Scripture,

As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is My word that goes out from My mouth: It will not return to Me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. ~ Isaiah 55:10-11, NIV.

 

Adulting Is a Four Letter Word

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I’ve come to the conclusion that I need to grow up. While I’m sixty-six years old chronologically, I’ve never felt older than sixteen, which is how old I, Sarah, was when I was created at the time of the gang-rape when Catherine Belinda was three years old.

That was when Harry got four of his cronies together, and the five of them decided that they were going to take Catherine Belinda to a house owned by one of them, and together the five of them would take turns raping her.

An innocent three year old tiny little girl!!

Harry!! How could you have done this!! What were you thinking!!

I weep for that innocent little girl that was me! I wish I could take her into my arms and do for her what was never done for me! I want to protect her as no one ever protected me!

How could they have done it God!! How could they have committed such an atrocity against an innocent child!!

Logically I know the answer to that question, but given the damage that one event has caused in my life, it’s hard to think about it logically, and everytime I read those cries above I start weeping for the little girl that was me all over again.

Before that event when we were three, we were already multiple, and Catherine Belinda, the original core personality, was doing her best to run things in the midst trying to protect herself from the hell of Harry’s constant abuse.

I, Sarah, didn’t exist at that point.

But during the gang-rape Catherine Belinda decided she was fed up with Harry’s lies and betrayals. She decided that this event was the ultimate betrayal on his part, and she decided that she was done.

She was DONE!!

She had to tell someone. She didn’t know who yet, but she’d find someone. She had to find a way to escape. She couldn’t stand it any longer. And everyone else inside could feel the certainty of her purpose, and they knew she was resolved to make good on this decision.

But they also knew that Harry was serious in his threats. He’d been threatening for at least a year at that point that he would kill her if she ever told anyone what he was doing to her, and he showed her that he was serious by playing Russian Roulette with one of his revolvers between her legs. And he didn’t just do it once. He did it on a regular basis to make sure everyone believed him.

I can only imagine the terror everyone must have felt everytime he pointed that gun at them!

So everyone inside made an executive decision that Catherine Belinda couldn’t be allowed to make good on her promise to find someone to tell about Harry’s abuse, and specifically, the gang-rape that had just occurred. They all concluded that she had to be removed from the scene, and someone else had to be created to take over for her, so she was hidden away and put to sleep, and I was created.

God is the one who gave me the gift of multiplicity, and I’m so grateful for it, because that’s what helped me to survive throughout my childhood. God is also the one who created each new alter everytime there was a need for one, as there was on that day when Catherine Belinda rebelled and had to be taken out of the system. I fully understand why she did it, but she had to be stopped, or Harry would have killed us. He’d made that abundantly clear.

So God created me, Sarah Abigail Kuriakos, to take over for Catherine Belinda, and He named me Sarah Abigail Kuriakos. He chose those names because He wanted me to know that someone loved me, and specifically, how much He loved me.

He also had to create twelve or thirteen other new alters because trauma of the rapes was so great, but that is a story for another day.

When He created me, chronologically we were three years old, but I was sixteen. Don’t ask me to explain how that works, because I can’t. All I know is that I was sixteen in a three year old body. I think it had something to do with being able to handle more responsibility than any three year old could possibly manage.

There are certain things one expects of an adult, and in my case, a Christian adult. Things like reading my Bible on a regular basis, going to church every Sunday, controlling my temper, not being rude to other people, getting and keeping a job and supporting myself financially, keeping my home neat and clean, and taking proper care of my cat. These are examples of activities normal adults engage in as a part of daily life.

Actually, I’m pretty much making all that up, because I have no idea what normal adults do in their daily lives. For one thing I doubt if there’s any such thing as a “normal” adult in today’s society, and for another, since I’ve never been an adult, I have no idea what they do. The things I mentioned are things I’d like to be doing in my daily life were I living even a semblance of a normal life.

Now that I’ve figured out this thing, what do I do about it? First off, I need discipline. All the things I want to be doing require a certain amount of discipline, and discipline is what I lack most of all. A few of the things I mentioned above I manage to do quite well, for instance, not being rude to others.

Everything else? Not so much. So, as I started out saying at the beginning of this post, I need to grow up. I also need to figure out how to discipline myself, so that I’m doing what I want to be doing on a daily basis.

HELP ME, LORD!!

The Face of My Beloved

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There is nothing I desire more than meeting Jesus face to face. For me Philippians 1 and Philippians 3 say it best,

For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. ~ Philippians 1:21, NIV.

All I want is to know Christ and to experience the power of His resurrection, to share in His sufferings and become like Him in his death… ~ Philippians 3:10, GNT.

To stay here is to glorify God, and give witness to the saving grace and healing power of Jesus Christ. To die is far better, because then I would be where I most desire to be: in the presence of Jesus, meeting Him face to face.

There is nothing better!

 

In Which I Purchase a Beautiful Painting

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I bought a painting. Yup, a beautiful painting by an artist who lives in Massachusetts, whose name is Jeffrey Hayes. It’s an oil painting, 17 x 24 inches, and it’s entitled “Makers of Yesterday’s Future”.

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The reason I write about it here is because of what the Lord showed me about the painting.

The artist, Jeffrey Hayes, was generous and kind enough to allow me to make payments on it, but unaccountably, late in the process, I began to have second thoughts about buying it. I’m not sure why that is, but I did.

Then, yesterday morning, as I was bringing it upstairs from my car, God revealed to me that this painting is a metaphor for my life, and in particular, the process I’m going through as He heals me from my childhood. Now, for those of you who don’t understand when I say that God showed me something, I’m not saying anything super-spiritual, even though it may sound that way. What I’m saying is nothing more than that God planted an idea in my mind.

That idea, however, made a huge difference in how I viewed the painting. Now, instead of having regret about purchasing it, I’m very glad, and I’m excited about hanging it and being able to look at it everyday, because looking at it all the time will be a constant reminder of God’s love for me, and HIs continuing work in my life as He heals me.

The process, and the painting, reminds me of the verse in Ephesians that says,

For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. ~ Ephesians 2:10, NLT.

The word masterpiece in this verse is “poiēma” in the Greek. The English word poem comes from it, and other translations render this word as workmanship.

Praise God!

Love, the Highest Ethic

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An ethic is defined as a set of moral principles, especially ones relating to or affirming a specified group, field, or form of conduct.

In Ravi Zacharias’ latest book, The Logic of God: 52 Christian Essentials for the Heart and Mind, which was released in April, he wrote,

…love is the supreme ethic. Where there is the possibility of love, there must be the reality of free will. Where there is the reality of free will, there will inevitably be the possibility of sin. Where there is sin, there is the need for a Savior. Where there is a Savior, there is the hope for redemption. Only in the Judeo-Christian worldview does this sequence find its total expression and answer.

~ Ravi Zacharias, The Logic of God: 52 Christian Essentials for the Heart and Mind, Zondervan, Grand Rapids, MI, 04/2019, pg 3.

I love this quote. I especially love the logic of it. It shows me that God is logical, in addition to all His other amazing attributes. He’s a God of love and He’s logical. How cool is that!

I’ve been on a kick about free will lately. I think the most important part of what Ravi Zacharias said here is the part about love, combined with the part about free will. Without love, free will is an impossibility, and without free will, human beings wouldn’t know how to love, because they’d be nothing more than robots, all of which means that free will and love are inextricably intertwined. And what follows after that is a kind of cascade of logic.

And then God brings it down to meet me where I live. God loved me so much that He gave me a free will so I could choose whether I wanted to love Him back, or reject His love. He could have said, I love you, and you will love Me back, and that’s the way it will be.

But if He’d done it that way, I wouldn’t have had a choice in the matter, and I would have been a love-robot, or a love-slave, loving God by rote. That wouldn’t have been real love, though, would it? That would be slavish obedience; Yes, Master, No, Master; not obeying because you adored Him so much that you would do anything for Him out of love.

God wanted humans to love Him freely, not because they had to, and not because He’d commanded them to. So He took a risk, a huge risk, and created every human being with a completely free will so they could make their own choices. And if that person chose to reject God and His love for them, then so be it. But if that human accepted God’s love, then he’d receive everything in Heaven and on earth that God had to offer.

The way I see it, God gave me the most incredible gift anyone could ever present to me, the gift of salvation. And I didn’t have to do anything at all to earn it. It was completely free. All I had to do was believe it was mine and receive it.

I knew I needed to be saved, desperately, but I couldn’t understand why God, Master of the Universe, Creator of all Things, would want to save me, probably the worst sinner ever, though if He wanted to do so I wouldn’t argue with Him. I’d just accept it. I’m not one to turn down free gifts! Not me!

Even at that, it took me many years before I could trust Him enough to believe that He meant what He’d said in His Word, because of all the lies my father (Harry) had told me. He had to abuse me because God hated me, and I was as ugly as if someone had thrown acid in my face were the two main ones, because they were a litany he repeated over and over and over again until they were ingrained in my nervous system. The guy in the white robe posing as God, sitting on the throne, who sometimes looked like Harry, telling the others what to do to me in the cult rituals, was the other big one. 

It took many, many years of consistently reading and studying the Bible before God was able to replace the poison and lies with the truth. But it did happen, and still is happening even today. God is still healing me, because there are times where I find myself falling back into old ways, and believing old lies. It doesn’t happen very often anymore, but it does happen from time to time. Now I know that God thinks I’m beautiful. That’s a truth I hold onto very tightly.

The upshot of it is that I’m incredibly grateful to God for everything He’s done for me. Not only has He saved me so that I’m able to know Him, and I get to go to Heaven when I die, the best double whammy ever, but He’s healed me ~ and is continuing to heal me ~ from the worst childhood ever. And if that wasn’t enough, He’s supplied my needs beyond all that I could ask or think. I never knew I could be this happy, or have this kind of peace or joy! My gratitude to Him makes me want to serve Him, makes me desire to love Him back, just because He’s been so good to me!

I know I still blow it, I still sin from time to time ~ far more often than I’d like. But when I do mess up, I pray that God will forgive me, because I value much too highly my close relationship with Him to want to stay in sin. Humans can’t help but sin, simply by the very fact that we’re human, but once we’re born-again, we have the Holy Spirit living inside us, and He helps us to not sin.

And that’s, once again, where our free will comes in. We can still make choices one way or the other. The Holy Spirit, being our Helper, aids and strengthens us, if we’ll take His assistance, to choose the right way. He’ll help us to avoid temptation,

The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure. ~ 1 Corinthians 10:13, NLT. 

Jesus called the Holy Spirit variously, the Comforter, the counselor, the advocate, and the helper, depending on the translation,

“When the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, that is the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify about Me… ~ John 15:26, NASB.

But we still have to make the choice to take the Holy Spirit’s assistance. I still have to make the choice to take His help, follow His advice, and sometimes I don’t, I’m ashamed to say.

Interestingly, I can still feel God’s Presence with me, even when I do sin. He never leaves me, He never forsakes me, just as He promised in His Word,

Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” ~ Hebrews 13:5, ESV.

It makes me want to try ever harder to not sin at all!

God so amazing!

As Far As the East Is From the West

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I was driving to a friend’s house the other night (about 3 a.m. on May 28th), and listening to the radio as I was driving. I forget if it was a song, or something the DJ said, but whatever it was, it got me thinking about the phrase, “as far as the east is from the west”, which is a phrase used in Psalm 103,

For as the heavens are high above the earth, so great is His mercy toward those who fear Him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us. ~ Psalm 103:11-12, NKJV.

So then I started thinking of all these questions: can you reach the east if you start in the west? Can you reach the west if you start in the east? I mean, you can reach the North Pole if you start from the South Pole, and vice versa, so why can’t you reach the east from the west? The problem is, there is no East Pole, nor is there a West Pole to use as starting points, as there is with the North and the South Poles.

So maybe being able to physically travel from west to east, or from east to west, isn’t the point of the idea.

What is the point, then?

When I asked myself that question, I started thinking about the images that come to mind when I think about the phrase, “as far as the east is from the west…”. Things like the infinitude of God’s love, and the limitless quality of His mercy. Most particularly, however, the image that comes to mind is that of Christ on the cross with His arms stretched out from east to west. It says in the Book of John,

Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. ~ John 15:13, NKJV.

Jesus Christ’s whole purpose for stepping down from the Majesty on High and coming to earth was to go to the cross and take humanity’s place, to take the punishment for our sin. That’s how much God loved us, that He would plan, with His Son and the Holy Spirit, from the foundation of the world, to deal with the problem of sin by sending Jesus to earth to take our place and assume our punishment. And a terrible punishment it was, because our sin was terrible. It still is, but Christ’s sacrifice was sufficient to take care of all of it for all time.

To me, this is beauty personified.

Oh my! When I think of that I’m left speechless! I am a sinful person. I’m full of pride, and I make mistakes all the time, every day. One of my many favorite verses in the Bible is from Romans 7,

O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? ~ Romans 7:24, NKJV.

I can so well relate to the Apostle Paul here! The preceding verses describe my day-to-day, sometimes minute-to-minute existence. Romans 7 portrays it so well,

I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway. ~ Romans 7:19, NLT.

It’s almost as if God was watching me when He told Paul to write that passage of Scripture! And yet, He loves me and wants me, regardless of my sinfulness.

I thank God for that everyday and in every way.

Author and Finisher

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I love the phrase, “…the author and finisher of our faith…” in Hebrews 12:2. It’s talking about Jesus, of course. I like the way the NIV puts it,

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of [our] faith. For the joy set before Him He endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. ~ Hebrews 12:1-2, NIV.

It’s like my faith ~ my story ~ is a book, and Jesus is its author. He’s the One who began my story, and He’s the One who will finish it, as it says in Philippians,

And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue His work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns. ~ Philippians 1:6, NLT.

I love the Bible. It always tells the truth. The verses I quoted above tell the truth about God’s activity in my life. And the cardinal truth can be found in this verse in Hebrews,

Don’t love money; be satisfied with what you have. For God has said, “I will never fail you. I will never abandon you.” ~ Hebrews 13:5, NLT.

Throughout my life ~ through all the abuse, all the times my mother tried to kill me, all the horrendous and terrible things my father did to me, all my suicide attempts, even during the period where I was enraged at God ~ through all of it, God was there, keeping me alive, shielding me from the worst of the abuse, and even protecting me from myself.

He’s never failed me, He’s never forsaken me, He’s never abandoned me, plus He’s given me beauty for ashes, and the oil of joy for mourning, as it says in Isaiah,

To console those who mourn in Zion, to give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they may be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified. ~ Isaiah 61:3, NKJV.

God has given me so much beauty in my life! He’s been so incredibly good to me, and He continues to be so on a daily, minute-by-minute basis. The cross is the best, most beautiful gift He could ever give me. It’s the best demonstration of true love anyone could ever give to another person, as it says in the Gospel of John,

There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. ~ John 15:13, NLT.

An Ugly Mind Made Beautiful.

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When the movie, A Beautiful Mind came out I had a hard time watching it because I could relate to some of John Nash’s experiences, in particular the insulin shock therapy he was treated with while he was in the hospital.

The reason I can relate to the insulin shock therapy he endured is because when I was a child and being abused in the cult in the 50’s and 60’s, the cult abusers had to have a way to make their victims forget what they’d done to them, and insulin shock, sometimes called subcoma insulin shock, was the method they used. There were doctors and nurses present who were cult members, and they monitored the victims, who were usually children, to make sure nothing bad happened to them while they were unconscious, and also to administer the insulin in the first place. The correct dosage had to be calculated based on the victim’s height and weight, and doctors and nurses were the only ones who knew how to do that.

Seeing that movie is what triggered that memory, and I haven’t been able to watch it since, which is unusual for me. Usually I love seeing movies many times over.

The movie also reminded me that when I was little I used to crave sugar all the time. Regularly for breakfast I would have cereal with multiple heaping spoonfuls of brown sugar on it, and my mother never stopped me from doing it ~ something that only makes sense if I had a lot of extra insulin in my blood that needed to be metabolized. And now, while I’m not diabetic, thank God, I am insulin resistant. Another way of thinking of that is that because of the insulin shock to which I was subjected, my tissues aren’t as responsive to insulin as they would otherwise be.

It doesn’t usually affect me. Every once in awhile, if I don’t eat anything at all over a long period, I begin to get a little hypoglycemic, but that’s about it. Plus my doctor has prescribed a very good medication that helps to moderate things quite well.

I thank God that Jesus is my Healer, and my Redeemer! I pray that Jesus has healed me of insulin resistence! I forgive everyone who caused it, and I hope I’ll see them in Heaven so I can tell them I forgive them.

It was a form of torture. It makes me feel sad knowing that I was tortured. Even though I’ve described other cult rituals that could be said to be torture, this is the first time that I’ve actually said the words, “I was tortured.” This is the first time I’ve acknowledged it. I don’t know if that’s a good thing or not. Maybe it’s because I’m accepting reality.

It also makes me feel sad knowing that people are cruel to each other so often. It makes no sense to me that people treat each other like that, because it seems like it would be easier to be kind. Being mean and cruel makes things so much more difficult, because then, in the process, a lot of times you break a law and have to go to court, and then to jail. If people would just be kind they could avoid all that, and they might learn about the mysteries of God into the bargain.

It sounds like a good deal to me. Maybe not to other people, but certainly to me.

 

Stunned and Gobsmacked, or, God Must Be Right and I Must Be Wrong.

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Maybe I’m doing better with God than I think I am. I’ve always thought it impossible for me to please God regardless of what I do, say, or think. I realize I’m probably seeing God through the lens of Harry. I wish I could just take the Harry-glasses off and break them into a million pieces and be done with them for good so I can see God as He truly is, but such is not to be, it seems, at least not yet.

But maybe I’m not doing as badly as I think I am. The Bible says,

But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. ~ Hebrews 11:6, NKJV.

Throughout my Christian life my greatest strivings and highest longings have always been to know God and to please Him, but doing that very thing is what has always caused me the greatest anguish, because I’ve felt the most hopeless about being able to do so. But the interesting thing was that in all my struggles and strivings I never stopped believing in God. I always believed that He existed, I always believed that His Word was true, even if I couldn’t believe it was true for me, though I desperately wanted to believe that it was.

If I’ve always believed, and never doubted, that God is, as it says in Hebrews 11:6; in other words, that He exists, seems to me that requires faith. Maybe even a lot of it, given the kinds of experiences I’ve lived through.

The Bible gives the definition of faith as,

Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see. ~ Hebrews 11:1, NLT.

So maybe I do have faith, possibly even a lot of it. I’ve been seeking God diligently my whole Christian life, regardless of any memories that were niggling in the background, or that were surfacing, or whatever. It feels scary for me to say that as a statement of fact, even arrogant. There’s a big part of me that wants to qualify it so my faith looks in some way less, but I don’t think I’ll do that, as uncomfortable as not doing so makes me feel.

But maybe God sees me differently than I do. I mean, the Bible says,

For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, declares the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts. ~ Isaiah 55:8-9, ESV.

So maybe the way God sees me is completely different than the way I see myself, and more importantly, the way Harry portrayed me. The Bible says God created me in His image and after His likeness (see Genesis 1:26). I really like the way that sounds, because God doesn’t create anything ugly or defective or junky. He only makes beautiful things, and I finally figured out that God thinks I’m beautiful.

When I realized that I was utterly stunned and gobsmacked. God sees me as beautiful? Wow!! And God doesn’t make mistakes, so He must be right.

I think I’ll believe Him. He’s smarter than I am.

Which brings me back to whether I have faith or not. I must, if I’m choosing to believe what God thinks about me rather than what I feel about myself.

How cool is that!